In the icy kingdom of Shiva

Shiva cult is one of the most common in India. This Hindu deity is a triad (trimurti) along with Brahma and Vishnu. According to the views of Hindus, Shiva lives away from populated areas, on Mount Kailas in Himalayas. There he stays like a divine devotee, immersed in meditation, filled from the world.

In the past, Hindu askets were sent thousands of Tibet and committed "Yatru" – Pilgrimage and around Kailas Mountain. However, today it is not so easy. In the early 1950s, Tibet was annexed by China, and now only wealthy pilgrims and tourists can afford this journey. Travel agencies organize tourist agencies; A 16-day route begins either from Kathmandu, or from Lhasa, but the cost of the tour is equally "Translated" – about 2.5 thousand dollars. Independent movement of foreigners in these alpine edges by Chinese authorities is prohibited.

However, Shiva fans do not fall in spirit – they have "Alternative in the neighboring region". We are talking about the alpine cave of Amarnath, known not only in the Indian state of Jammu-Kashmir, but also in the whole Hindu world. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every summer flock to this cave to worship the ice stalagmites there, personifying Lingam Shiva – an ancient phallic fertility symbol.

Srinagar – the capital of Kashmir, and here for many years they have been given to know the separatist Muslims. Army, Police and others "Siloviki" control the main routes, and the independent movement of foreigners in Kashmir is limited. In Amarnath, there are two roads: one from the south – from Pahulgam, the other from the West – from Sonamarga. Not so long ago, the only way to Amarnathu was only from Pahlialgam, and the hiking move in the mountains held three days.

Of course, I would like to undergo an old path of pilgrims, but now the entrance to Pakhlagam for foreigners is closed. Remains "west" Option: We must take a bus in Srinagar and, passing 85 km away, get to Sonamarga. And there, if you are lucky, they will throw baltal at the tent camp, from where the pilgrims go to the mountain path. What’s because Kashmir on "Siege" position, then for a trip to Sonamarg you need to get permission to the police. Help me in this business promises the owner of the hotel – Faruk.

HA bus station Sticking: Pilgrims are moving in waiting for a bus to Sonamarg. In the control room I find out that today there is no bus and will not: he was transferred to "Special service". But there is an opportunity to have a private company who leaves another bus station. Grabbing Motoricks, rush through the entire city by block posts, barriers, booths with machine gunners, BTrov and PPC. Everyone decishes seconds: jumping from chading "Tuk Tuka" At the entrance to the bus station, I manage to intercept the bus coming out of the gate.

In the cabin – "Specific contingent". All passengers – Pilgrims-Hindus, there are colorful figures of wandering ascets – sadhu. In their hands, they have poles with trisulus tridents and metal round plasters "For watery water" from sacred sources. Has Luba White Paint is drawn Triculus – Symbol Accessories for Shivaism.

The highway goes to the mountains, it leads to the freak ladical ladies, – where the old Buddhist monasteries in the upper reaches of Indus at the foot of the cliffs were sheltered. To the town of Lech – Ladak Center – more than 400 km by bus, and passengers overcome this distance in two days. What our way is much shorter, and we get to Sonamarga in 4 hours. On the way – Traditional Kashmir "kit": Gearbox, car gunners, "Kolyuk", Barriers. Shooting "PermT" Being closer – in the breast pocket, paper with permission can ask at any time.

In the bus cabin enters the car gun and begins to reflit from sadhu. I ask my neighbor: what’s the matter? It turns out that Asketov has no permission to Yatra (pilgrimage). The mountain trail passes through the departments of military units, and each pilgrim must have a plastic card with a photo, indicating "Full name", home addresses and term of commission of Yatry. In the mountains, with a large attitude of pilgrims, there are "Female outcomes". Translated into a normal language – the elderly wanderers at an altitude of 3.5-4 thousand meters refuses the heart, and with a narrow path, they break into the abyss. And the plastic card helps when identifying remains.

The machine gun drives out a sadhu from the bus. God’s people humbly stand at the side of the road, and the warrior, rushing to the authorities, something still speaks. "Planned" Pilgrims, looking at it, begin to resent, and gradually our bus boils like a samovar. In the cabin there are screams that are understandable and without translation: "What do they want!"; "completely encouraged!". A carmakers, dying, waving his hand, and so sadhu will have grown again in the cabin.

The road to the ladack is cool went up, winding the spirals to the clouds. But we do not need to go there: turning right, the bus smoothly rolled into a large glade, where a camp camp is broken. Holiday revival reigns here: Part of the pilgrims is preparing for the exit on the path, others relax after Yatry. At hike "Foodieblockers" You can have a snack, because a difficult transition has to go – 15 km along the mountain pace. From the speakers, the sounds of hymns, glorifying Shiva. Had tents and awnings – multiwart flags. Pilgrim heads are decorated with brilliant gilded bandages. To the services of the horse’s pilgrims, pony, donkeys. Ravers in vindicate offered to rent eared "taxi". But these are only elderly and weak pilgrims. Most want to experience their strength in Yatra.

I don’t need to ask about the road: the only trail goes along the mountain river. HA Bridge Another obstacle in the form of an automatic machine. It turns out that the artillery part is located here, and the military has established their own bandwidth. The route can only be out of afternoon, and now on the dial hour arrow approaches two.

Soldier does not understand English and only repeats "Nou!". I go to the tent, in front of which he sends his head. My main argument: in the evening I will overcome 15 km, and in Amarnathe you can spend the night in a tent camp. Officer inexorably; He says that in April 1996, about 200 pilgrims were killed in the local mountains due to sudden cooling and snow, – from here and strict rules. My timid note, which is now not a cunning April, and the gracious Sharavan (July-August), for the guard in the pursuit does not work. I leave to the side to get together with thoughts for the next "Mental Attack". At this time, another discussion flashes on the bridge. Horsesome local pilgrims, with plastic cards, "Swing rights", and the guard sends them to the officer tent. Word for the word, and pilgrims are settled by an inconspicuous servant. He takes a stack of cards and begins to rewrite data from them to the registration log. Choosing a convenient moment, I set up to the table and stretch my passport with the words: "And I am with a group!" Artillery, having waved his hand, makes my name in the general list. Has about police resolution, nor about the plastic speech card no longer goes: this is another "farm", with their rules. But the requirement should be called a number. home phone! To, mean, "In case of something", through the communications satellite to inform relatives and friends. I get cardboard S "personal number" – 147; It will need to return on the way back. Following K "planned" group, and, choir thanking benefactors "For confidence rendered", We continue the way along the river.

The first three kilometers overcome the play. The trail goes along the river. Pilgrims with copyright in their hands happily greet each other: "Bam Bamu Buli ‘ !" Roads have houses folded from stone. Their inhabitants all in fact: adults graze cattle, children "Pass" pilgrims, facing Buckshish. What is "resort" Ends: the road turns to the left and, turning into the path, dramatically goes up. Immediately a small memorable sign with the inscription. It turns out that this second, short path to Amarnathu laid local "STROYBAT" In 1984. So that’s why the army team here is fought! With the introduction of B "Operation" The second trail number of pilgrims in Amarnath has increased dramatically. So, if in 1977. v "Yatre" 25 thousand people took part, now the bill is on hundreds of thousands. The number of victims has increased: in 1970. On the way to Amarnathu, 18 pilgrims were killed and the collars, and in 1996. This figure has increased more than 10 times.

It is believed that only Hinduses are sent to Amarnathu. However, there are also siks in turbans among pilgrims. Yes, and the drivers on the Hindus are not similar: in Chalms, with beards, painted okra (henna), – Typical Kashmir Muslims. How work is work. Pilher’s pilgrim in "pure form" Recognized immediately: it is immersed in itself and constantly sings a mantra glorifying Shiva: "Om Na’ma Shiva ‘ !" – means "blessing". But, being a deity-creator, Shiva at the same time and god destructive. So here, in the mountains, you need to keep the Ear East.

The trail takes everything cooler up, it goes along the stream, originating in glaciers. The stream is also hidden under fat intals, and did not think over the summer. Here for cows for cows: on ice "Bridge" they can move from the shore to the shore and choose the most latom pastures. The counter stream of pilgrims increases: they hurry to the baltal, to light decide on the night. Now and then you need to stop to give way to the oncoming caravan. Ravers scream:! OSH!, Warning of danger. The path is so closely that the pilgrims are no longer before the mantra and not until "Bum-Bam Buli": Slightly shake and find yourself in the abyss. It is also good that now is not a full moon. And during "Puyi", when tens of thousands of pilgrims are rushed at once in Amarnath with all of India, do not extend at all. Hindus believe that the Icy Lingams of Shiva for two weeks with the onset of the full moon increases in the amount, and over the next two weeks decreases.

It has the most difficult cut. Pilgrims slowly climb up slippery from rain trail. Sedoki are dismounted, – it is better not to risk. The most weak drivers are removed from the stretcher and slowly lead "real estate" Under hands. Here is the most "bottleneck" 15-kilometer path: "Mixed in a bunch of horses, people. " Down is better not to watch in order to avoid "Circles of chapters". And those who are still deciding to look into the abyss, see the bottomless bodies of the donkey. They were not lucky: having broken with a circle, they were forever remained in the icy kingdom of Shiva.

And here’s another victim. One of the pilgrims suddenly became bad, – the height, rain, cold. Falling on the path, he almost went down to donks. Entrepreneurs managed to keep him at the very last moment. Bedollege Trute whiskey, beat on the cheeks, and he gradually comes to himself. Someone gets Validol, and I drank him in the mouth of the aeron pills, means "From height".

To seven evenings trail "Squeezed" over tired wanderers and went to reduce. Ahead appeared a tent town with a huge cave. This is Amarnath, but to get to him, you need to walk half an hour in a slippery and insidious gutter. Worried about two problems. First – to "Do not wake up in plaster"; The second question: why pilgrims, looking at night, go somewhere from Amannath? Perhaps due to the fact that in a tent "There is no place and will not?" I ask the oncoming traveler about the reason "Exodus". He calms down: it is not necessary to worry, there will be a place to be taken as a native. Just at night in Amarnatha very cold, – the height of almost 4 thousand meters, and even nearby – the languages ​​of the glacier. So stay here until the morning "frost-resistant" Yes featherish.

To the tent camp fell dimly. Gas luminaires flicker. I don’t even have time to start searching for overdoor. The owner of one of the tents wakes up accommodate in his tent. I accept the invitation, however there is a small problem. I, as a foreigner, you need to check in "Police" tent and if there are no special prescriptions "from commandation", I will definitely return to the post. Basinist owner "Hotel" Shows on the tag before entering the dwelling: on it number – 64. To not be confused, all tents are numbered. Remember Easy – Number "Chess".

Through the entire tent camp delirium in "reference point". A policeman does not hide surprise. Foreigners here are rare guests, and so that he will not remember this. Once every day my name is entered into the barn book. I’m interested in how much "Dogs" It was here for the summer? "Two", – Responsible guard order. And adds: "Third you will be". Behind the conversation it turns out that from now on the official opening of the season – in mid-July, closing – August 22. In order to avoid further victims, "unscheduled illegal immigrants" Cancel on block posts. There are sleeping awning in the tent "from state" and private. Overnight fee almost the same. Hiking restrictions on the trip for Inozem residents.

In the icy kingdom of Shiva

Through the entire camp, I drag back, in "64th number". In the twilight it is difficult to see anything. The rain is no longer drizzled, but shears. Shouting into darkness: 64? Joyful exclamations are heard from the tent, – it means that. The place is immediately determined for the night: in the slurry for pilgrims, the doubles are already snoring on a pile. So again "I will be the third". It will have a cold, and although the tent is a basket with burning coals, it is necessary to eat before bedtime. To begin with – a cup of hot tea: she will shoot a shiver from the body. And the rice plate will restore power, and "Brain will begin to give the command to the hand". However, the rice did not have to taste. Master’s face arises from death "64th Room". Being cloning to me, he urociously asks: why I settled not from him, and in the next tent? At first, I can not understand: which of us went crazy? After all, I’m lying in the 64th tent, and not in "Ward 6". Then I translate the view from the interlocutor on the one who cotton at the hiking gas tiles. They are one beard, on one face. Here it comes to me that it turned out to be confused: an unexpected guest was rapidly delighted as a source of earnings, because in the dressing "Noncomplekt". Apologizing to the owner-"Intercept", I take my belongings and driving in a torrential rain in the neighboring shelter. There are more people here: only one pilgrims stuffed 6 people. But at night will be warmer.

The heat reserve was enough for midnight. "Here you are not a plain, here is another climate": The breath of the glacier was felt through a thin bitter blanket. Early woke up in neighboring tents. Have fallen satellites. And so, the flooded fire, a picturesque group of yogis heats up from the fire – right "Agni Yoga"! Hoarse voices they give up a cigarette "Moving". As the poet would say, "poor sadhu smallly shaking and chinariki shot". Having made the first tightening, the brotherhood of ascets is flicking, expectorated, smoothes. The whole tent camp tends to yoga.

The famous cave leads a concrete staircase; On both sides, it is framed by the tents – here are more hundreds of them. Separately, there is a bivouuck for pilgrims-army. When approaching the cave – the police tent (the same) and the control system, like at the airport. It, naturally, does not work, and pilgrims, passing through an inactive magnetic system, fall into the hands of the guard. Here, the pilgrims feel and hug, after which they overcome the last meters of the way, separating them from the desired cave.

She is striking with their huge sizes. At the same time, more than a hundred people can fit here. But now, early in the morning, the pilgrims are not so much. At the entrance to the cave, they are encountered by stone Lingam Lingam – in the form of a column resting on Yoni – a female symbol. Here – carved images of Shiva and his spouse Parvati. In front of the statues in the lotus pose froze praying. Someone says brief mantras, someone in hands a book with prayers.

Legend says that it is in this cave Shiva handed parvati secret creation. It is honey for them, a couple of pigeons overheard this conversation and vyazsed the secret of eternal life. Reborn again and again, pigeons turned the cave to their constant dwelling. And those pilgrims who manage to see here a couple of pigeons are especially happy.

The main relics of Amnatha – Ice Lingam (phallus) Shiva. This is essentially a stalagmitet of natural origin, which before starting Sharawan – pilgrimage season – with the help of a cutter and a hammer is cleaned "All too much". Hynece season ends, and lingam is strongly populated. In order not to embarrass the religious feelings of shivait, it is covered with a translucent plastic shield – from sunlight and from inquisitive eyes. The massive lattice separates the relic from the pilgrims, not allowing them to approach the lingam closer than a dozen meters. Two guardians "From organs", consisting of a phallus, are observed in order so that everything is "fraud and ran". They are shutdown in slippers, although ordinary pilgrims enter the cave on Bosu’s leg. Long barefoot here on the stone floor, not to sleep.

Literally, the whole lattice is inhabited by plastic cards – these are pilgrims who committed Yatra to Lingam, leave their own here "Pass" with photos. So, in front of the eyes, a new tradition is born.

Moving along the lattice to the left, pilgrims fit to another ice lump, with "open access". It is Lingam Ganesh, Saviva and Parvati’s Son. It is also revered "For the sacred" and enjoys great popularity. HA His surface pilgrims put scarves, scarves and others "Honeying". It is believed that they are gaining healing properties here. When leaving the cave, gutters are arranged, and the pilgrims are gaining water into plastic eggplants. All these ceremonies are accompanied by an erratic bell tower. Everyone honors honor: "Referring to Svyatsy", "Byten in the bell". As the poet said, "Hindu invented a strange religion".

On the ancient legend, the local Muslim shepherd named Buta Malik once met Sadhu, and he gave him a bag with coal. Reaching the house, Bouta discovered that in the bag not coal, but gold. Having reached, the shepherd rushed back to find sadhu and thank him. However, the fellow Sadhu has bothered, and at the place of their meeting, Bouta discovered a huge cave. And soon she became the place of pilgrimage of the Hindus. Hin, a certain percentage of donations of pilgrims is transmitted to the descendants of Malik, and the rest is a community council that "Manager" Sanctuary.

When returning to a tent camp – a pleasant surprise. One of the tents crowds yoga, kudesniks, pruners and ordinary pilgrims. Here arranged "Kotopunct", and distributor draws tea with milk on glasses. He invites you to split my meal, saying: "FRI!" (Holyava!). Eastern sweets are relying to tea, – how much will fit in the hand of the distributor.

. In Srinagar come back late in the evening. From morning to learn to Jammu.

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